The Biggest Workplace Bully of All
When I was kid, getting teased was just a norm. Not saying it was right or wrong but sometimes you got teased and sometimes you did the teasing. Now-a-days we label that bullying. People are more cruel and sensitive at the same time. Things that we used to brush off and ignore now become front page news. Bullying in its true form is terrible and the reaction to that bullying is often times tragic. I don’t want to focus only on the kids because this is not a parenting blog it’s an HR blog. Do you know what I see, all the time? I see workplace bullying.
Employee A. is an exempt supervisor. They get to work at 8:01am. They are called into the office and reprimanded for 60seconds tardiness. That could have been a brief greeting in the hallway; fumbling to find the security badge. They are told too many of these 1 minute occurrences could result in disciplinary action up to termination.
I feel like Allen Iverson with his rant on practice…”A minute, a minute, a minute. We are talking 1 minute. Not an hour, not an hour, a minute.”
Employee B. decides to return to college and get some certifications. All they need is one hour off early 2 days a week and they would be willing to make up the time. Employer says no way; if you decide to return to college you will be fired.
What kind of hell whole won’t allow an employee a chance at higher education?
Employee C. and their co-workers are told time and time again that they should be happy to have a job, and they can be fired at any moment without cause since it’s an at-will state.
Just because you can do something, does not mean you should. If an employee claims discrimination, you’d have no defense.
The constant beating downing of employees and trying to break their spirit instead of building them up is nothing more the workplace bullying. Many times HR enables this behavior, turns a blind eye to it or is bullied into compliance. Look at that poor HR lady at the University of Arkansas; when Petrino hired his mistress, the HR manager questioned it in one email, but then in her next email she was promoting the decision. Don’t you think, scratch that, you know that in between the 1st and 2nd email, someone went over to her and said something like “Just push this through.”
Bullying is not only happening to our children in school, it’s happening to our employees in the workplace, by the biggest, most powerful bully of them all; the organization!